Sunday, April 23, 2006

UC pays salary of ex-lab chief in Virginia job

UC pays salary of ex-lab chief in Virginia job
Separation pact lets Nanos qualify for retirement plan

Tanya Schevitz and Todd Wallack, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, April 23, 2006

When the director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory resigned last year, the University of California, which runs the lab, agreed to keep him on the payroll in a new job for up to 28 months so he would qualify for the university's retirement plan, according to a copy of the director's separation agreement obtained by The Chronicle.

The university is paying the annual salary of $235,000 for G. Peter Nanos, who is now at a job with the Defense Department's Defense Threat Reduction Agency in Virginia.

In September 2007, when the former lab director will have accrued the five years of employment required to vest in UC's retirement plan, "Director Nanos' employment with the University will end," according to the agreement.

The terms of Nanos' departure were negotiated last spring, while UC was preparing to bid for a new contract with the Department of Energy to continue running the atomic weapons complex it has run since World War II. UC's control of the lab was in jeopardy because of years of security lapses and allegations of fraud and mismanagement at Los Alamos.


Full Story


So, at last, we have in print what most of us thought privately:

"The agreement also requires that 'Senior administrators at the University ... will say nothing that is or could reasonably be construed as disparaging about, of or concerning Director Nanos.'"

The University of California is and always was LANL's absentee landlord. -What a shame.

But at least the "swamp" has been drained: Nanos is gone!


I think it is telling that UC continues to reward the worst director in the entire history of the lab. It is very dirty politics that allows this travesty to continue.
From the article:

"On its face, this agreement seems to serve no other purpose than to save UC from some unknown embarrassment and ensure that Mr. Nanos receive his UC pension," said Maldonado, a Republican from Santa Maria (Santa Barbara County)."

The entire process of running LANL has been corrupt. The selection process for the new contractor was apparently corrupt. UC's continued presence in the management of LANL, as part of LANS, LLC will ensure that the corruption will continue.
It is unclear to me how Nanos could have been terminated for cause, as UC officals, certainly Foley, supported his actions. Removal yes, termination unlikely.

As for buying silence, nothing new here for UC. Remember all the "hush money" they paid to those who were dismissed during Walp/Doran? These screw ups were paid one year's salary to leave quietly.

And of course, reform will be hard with UC involved in the LANS management; UC just can't stomach the fact that UC needs reform. And, Parsky, the Chair of LANS, is a very corrupt player. Not a good beginning.
"It is unclear to me how Nanos could have been terminated for cause, as UC officials, certainly Foley, supported his actions. Removal yes, termination unlikely."

That is the whole point. UC had a choice early in the 2004 fiasco to either do the right thing and fire Nanos, or attempt to cover their own butts (since it was UC who picked Nanos to be the LANL director without the formality of a national search) and publicly support him.

Speaking of UC's continued involvement at LANL, I would like to know what the back-room deal was that UC, Bechtel, DOE, and NNSA cooked up between them which allowed UC to remain a part of the new management team. I suspect that UC bought their way back into the game by promising to remain silent on the Nanos fuck-up, as well as with other poorly-handled events in the recent past which could be additional sources of embarrassment to DOE should they come to light.
Yes Nanos gets his reward, all the crappy UC managers have been kept on, many getting promotions... The org charts change every week as we "transition," when clearly Bechtel has no more of a clue than UC ever did. All bechtel can think of is to "centralize" everything while line management goes in one direction while funding goes in another with apparently no way to join the two. The new "matrix" plan seems to DOUBLE the number of upper folks we'll have to answer to for absolutely NO apparent reason other than to make the "matrix" charts look good.

And where is Anastasio?
I guess it is ok if UC is paying Admiral Butthead's outrageous salary out of UC funds. But it is NOT ok for his salary to be paid out of the LANL/DOE contract. Unless you can count staying away, Admiral Butthead is not doing anything for the LANL/DOE contract. Thus, for LANL/DOE contract funds to be used to pay him would be waste and fraud.

Although, we can always hope that they are doing just that so that we can nail their asses!
UCintolerant has made a disparaging remark about the marvelous matrix management system that is being implemented at LANL.

He must be unaware of the success that matrix management brought to LLNL for the NIF Project. Afterall, it was the success of the NIF Project in extracting the extra $3B from DOE that earned Anastasio his new job at LANL!
Spode and Finknottle hit the nail on the head. Nanos gets away with a golden parachute for killing Todd and destroying the lab.

Lucky, Here is the answer to your question, again. Nanos commited FRAUD, PERJURY, and FALSIFIED DOCUMENTS, and ALL OF THOSE ACTIONS ARE CAUSE FOR TERMINATION!! I have the documentation to prove it but until someone forces congress to take another look at this nothing will be done. Domenici,Bingaman, and Barton will not return my calls or letters. Unless you all start demanding accountability from these people then you get the government you deserve, CORRUPT!!. Call your Senators and demand an accounting for this travesty.
Corruption is now an accepted way of life in our society. As Michael Moore so adeptly points out...we are no longer the envy of the world...we are the Idiot Nation. While LANL employees fight (barely fight that is) to preserve their pensions, UC's cadre of corporate thugs takes care of one of their own (once again). In the mean time the vast majority of LANL employees remain asleep. Perhaps we're just too lazy to pay attention, too stupid to care, and too scared to be outraged about much anymore, even when it's obvious we're getting the shaft. America, land of the free and the brave ...NOT! Land of the morons is more like it. LANL employees should be outraged over this article. But no, leave it up to a handful of dedicated UPTE folks to take up the challenge. The rest, the majority who are little more than sniveling excuses for humanity, will just wait to see if they benefit somehow from the efforts of others. And if and when the time comes that they do stand to benefit in some way, rest assured these poor excuses for intelligent life will be first in line to collect. Is this how pathetic we've become as a species, or is it just the Idiot Nation represented in the LANL workforce once again doing what it does best...nothing.
Ah f**k it. I'm going to plug myself back into the LANL matrix, and enjoy my steak.

Before I plug back in, I must say that you UPTE guys are delusional if you think you can make a difference. It's game-over, man. Time to light a camp fire and sing a few songs. In the epic battle of ideologies, socialism lost. Get over it.

Don't worry - with Bechtel at the helm, they'll keep sending tax $$'s. All that you have to do is to rigidly comply to whatever directives are issued. It's easy street. No thought required. The goal is no longer to accomplish anything of substance, but to enjoy complying and attending meetings, earn a paycheck, and retire to a community that doesn't require an enema.
"The goal is no longer to accomplish anything of substance, but to enjoy complying and attending meetings, earn a paycheck, and retire to a community that doesn't require an enema."

So then, you will be moving away from Los Alamos when you eventually do retire?
This talk about the collective lack of courage of the citizens of Los Alamos reminded me of a conversation I once had with then Chief of Police Alan Kirk, back in 1985 or so. For some reason we were talking about murder, and he said, "We don't see much of that here, these scientists just don't have the guts. About the worst we ever see in Los Alamos is drunken driving, and the occasional complaint of a loud party or barking dog.

I wasn't sure I believed him then, but after watching the whole town clam up, completely afraid to speak out against Nanos when he was going berserk nearly two years ago made a believer out of me. I am proud of the few individuals who did have the courage to speak out against Nanos, the University of California, and NNSA's Linton Brooks after the troubles of 2004, but I am ashamed of the rest of the community, for their collective cowardice. To no small extent, the citizens of Los Alamos deserve what they are about to get with the contract handover.
It is difficult to decide which is more outrageous: the fact that UC continues to pay that incompetent, unpleasant disaster of a former director, or the blatant apathy by the fine townsfolk of Los Alamos regarding his continued payola.
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Yeah, CS350, and I'm sure we all equate the risks faced by the Los Alamos police with those that work in LA, NY, Miami, Detroit, DC and Abq.
Educatedbeyondhisability spouted: "Yeah, CS350, I'm sure we all equate the Los Alamos police with those that work in LA, NY, Miami, Detroit, DC and Abq."

Or Espanola or Santa Fe.

I suspect CS350's comments were more directed towards the relative level of cowardice in our fair town, rather than at comparative levels of homicidal intent.

Regardless, disparaging the qualities of our small-town police department does not change the fact that UC continues to pay Nanos a salary that he has not earned, and that nobody in Los Alamos seems to give a shit.

Perhaps everybody is just too busy counting up all the monetary advantages of the various benefits packages, and simply have not had time to take note of the Nanos thing.
Nanos's golden parachute and the golden parachutes of those responsible for the Bussolini cover-up are attempts by UC and LANL to function more like business which has been paying off its poor performing CEOs for years.
These golden parachutes of Nanos and of those who covered up for Bussolini and the fact that some of the ones who covered up for Bussolini continue to be employed at the highest levels of LANL and LANS sound a lot like some of the corrupt financial deals going on in the executive and representative branches of government. Our public institutions are being used as the means to fatten the corporate bosses who own our democracy.
There are no rules for those at the top while those at the bottom are held strictly to the letter of the law.
Until we restore our democracy from within, the path is pretty grim for LANL, LANS, the US and working people in general. Citizens are starting to wake up, but it is going to take an enormous effort on the part of citizens to clean up the mess that has taken over the very highest places in government and industry in the US. LANL and LANS are part of a corrupt nation, I am sorry to say.
Ironic, Nanos is kept on long enough to be vested while Kevin Jones (Nanos rubber stamp) fired Ginny Vigil 15 days before she was vested. This occured even after numerous requests from DX staff requesting Jones postpone Ginnie's firing a few weeks.
Geronimo - I agree! ...and you are Geronimo. The rules are obviously different for the (former) Admiralty. He brings shame to the title. On the other hand, I was always proud to be a "cowboy-butthead-moron-C-student-SOB-malcontent" coworker with Gennie and the others!
Hey Geronimo: That's the famous UC style. Aren't you glad they still have a hand in running LANL? Aren't you glad UC is still paying Nanos to stay away until he is vested?

Fuck this place.
Rod, for the record, I think the Los Alamos police are just fine.

Being pissed off at the fact that Nanos is collecting his salary is a total waste of time and energy. Feeling seems to be these guys from Bechtel are going to make him look like a wimp in short order.

Geez, people are already saying Mike A. is just a figurehead, and the guy hasn't even started yet. How's that for hitting the ground running on June 1?

I'm with 'shroom and cs101. F*ck it. Come in, do your job as best you can and go home. If LANL implodes, then it implodes.

I know we all like stats. LANL started FY06 with 9110 UC staff including postdocs, it now has 9205 six mos into the FY. Don't think this includes LANS folks.

I sure hope Sen Domenici is getting more money for LANL. Most of the people I know who claim they are retiring say they are coming back as contractors.
A couple of points, Educated:

Anastasio canceled, what, three scheduled presentations to LANL staff in the past month, no explanation given. What kind of message does that send?

You can sit back and pretend that UC is not continuing to screw us if you like. Continuing to pay Nanos a fat salary as payola to stay away and keep his mouth shut is just one way in which they have demonstrated their lack of ethics. Myself, I choose not to turn a blind eye to their many corrupt practices, because they are a part of LANS, LLC: our new contractor.

Dig yourself a burrow, crawl in, and pull the door closed behind you if that is what it takes to get yourself through the day at LANL.

Not me.
Go for it, Spode. Please keep me informed of: a) Your objective, and b) Your progress toward that objective. Later.
That's easy, Educated:

1) Goal: not let the bastards think that their actions have slipped past us unnoticed.

2) Progress: I know that UCOP, DOE, NNSA, Bechtel, and the news media still read this blog, therefore I am confident that I am achieving my goal.

This is my preferred reaction to the continuing news of UC's corrupt practices. Those who wish instead to remain silent are of course welcome to do so. The silent ones are, after all, the predominant segment of our LANL community.
OK, Spode. Did you know that Nanos got a $25k signing bonus in 2002 when he first got hired by LANL?

Yeah, most in the room I was in definitely agree with the puppet comment going around after seeing Mike A. today. People were suggesting the background was dark so we couldn't see the strings attached to the talking head. An hour talk with zero information transmission. Sadly, most felt sorry for him and concluded he is clueless. Oh well, the beat goes on.
Our best hope from Anastasio is that he will not be malicious.

He comes across as a well-meaning nincompoop - what with all the money he's going to save by demolishing all our obsolete buildings while we're still planting trailers for "temporary" offices and labs. And those "temporary" trailers have been leased for years and years - paid for many times over by the US taxpayer, but not owned by us.

Different monkeys - same trees.
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